Elder abuse prevention, the opioid crisis and affordable health care were key human services issues before the Legislature during the 2018 session. The session ended with vetoes of the omnibus spending and tax bills, leaving only the pension bill and a number of policy nonbudget bills signed into law. DHS did not advance a policy bill and had a comparatively small budget request. A summary of 2018 changes affecting human services is on the DHS website.
Legislative changes affect licensed human services programs
The 2018 Legislature enacted several changes that impact DHS licensed programs and services. DHS, in cooperation with counties, licenses approximately 20,000 service providers to protect the health, safety and rights of those receiving services. Changes this session affect licensing and background study requirements as well as responsibilities of DHS and county licensing agencies. An overview of changes for licensed programs is available on the DHS website.
DHS receives nearly $18.75 million for improvements to state operated services
The Legislature approved $18.75 million of a $63.4 million proposal by Governor Dayton for maintenance and improvements at state psychiatric facilities and other programs. The Legislature did not provide funding for an admissions unit at Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center needed to better manage an influx of patients admitted from jail, or space in St. Peter for clients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program who have been ordered by the courts to be placed in a less restrictive setting.